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The Crown Gospel Awards are on our horizon again and we can’t wait to see who is who.
Set for November 17 at their home at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC), the sixth edition of the Crown Gospel Awards promises to be the best yet.
Faced with an incredible 497 entries, the administrators of the show have had to sift through the chaff to get to the artists good enough to earn crown awards.
Unlike previous years, there have not been crazy serial nominations – like the four or five that entries like Solly Mahlangu had. The top contender this year has only three.
This could mean two things: that (a) a lot of musicians have upped their game and so no one act is allowed to collect a lot of awards at the expense of others, or (b) the great Mahlangu did not release an album this year.
That said, our champion this year with three nominations is The Plain Truth, a Christian rock band from Joburg. Think a South African version of Hillsong with a little more attitude and you have The Plain Truth.
This religious gang are not new to the music scene. They have been at it for years and each year they enter the Crown Gospel Awards, they dominate in the technical categories like Best Engineer – and this year is no different.
They have also been nominated for the Best Gospel Pop and Best Rock awards – where their competition is no one you really know, so they should be fine.
Another act to look out for is Nqubeko Mbatha, who used to be the musical genius behind Joyous Celebration. He has two nominations in the highly contested Best Male category, where he is competing against singers like Jabu Hlongwane and Patrick Duncan, who are also from Joyous Celebration. Mbatha’s other nomination is for Best Gospel Producer, a field that is his forte, so we expect him to take this award home.
If by some chance he doesn’t, then his wife, Ntokozo Mbambo, could save the day for the couple in the Best Gospel Artist category.
Mbambo clinched a South African Music Award earlier this year, so a crown would be a bonus.
Among other names to look out for is Judith Sephuma, whose inclusion in the showcase is a pleasant surprise.
Sephuma is not necessarily a gospel artist, but her latest product, The Experience Live In Concert, has earned her two nominations. It is refreshing to see non-gospel musicians compete in these awards.
Since the SABC is involved with this showcase, there is talk that it will beamed live to those who don’t make it to the ICC.
How to vote: SMS the NAME OF THE ARTIST/SHOW & CATEGORY to 34069 (SMSes COST R1.50) or call 084 198 3292. Tickets available at Computicket at R800 (VIP), R630, R520, R395 and R345. The full list of nominees is available at www.crowngospelawards.co.za